Elisabeth LaMotte

Burn This

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 14, 2019

As a therapist, I am perpetually curious about what draws people into love. Relationships are the ingredients that create the recipes of my clients’ lives. And the dynamics of romantic love are an ongoing focus for many people in therapy. Landford Wilson’s Broadway play, Burn This, starring Keri Russell and Adam Driver is a story…

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Green Book

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 3, 2019

The general commentary surrounding the Academy Award winning film Green Book zooms in on Hollywood, race relations and the historical details related to legendary musician Dr. Don Shirley, his driver, Tony Vallelonga, and their travels on a concert tour through the deep south in 1962. From a psychological perspective, a compelling and less discussed dimension…

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What’s the difference between ghosting and cloaking?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 1, 2019

A colleague recently shared this video posted by the dating app user who coined the term “cloaking” and asked for commentary. While the jilted dater shares an honest, vulnerable dating vignette and helps other dating app users feel less alone, what seems most noteworthy about her experience is how common it has become to experience…

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The Witch Elm

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 21, 2019

There are many schools of psychology, and a significant thread that connects them all is the acknowledgment of a human tendency to repeat the past. Cognitive Theory explores learned thoughts while Behavioral Theory explores learned behaviors. Systems Theory suggests that if a dynamic or pattern is familiar, it feels more comfortable, so the security of…

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What are some Noteworthy Qualities of Lasting Relationships?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 1, 2019

When Huffington Post Relationships reached out with this question, Spencer made some useful observations: Planned check-ins: Whether it’s daily, weekly, or annually – and ideally all three in some capacity – couples who are in it for the long and happy haul make a habit of checking in as needed and also as planned. Planned…

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Beautiful Boy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 22, 2019

The film Beautiful Boy concludes with the statement in the closing credits that drug overdose is now the leading cause of death in Americans under age 50. Hardly a spoiler, this stressful statistic is the backdrop of the central question of film – why are so many young people getting hooked on drugs and dying…

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A Place for Us

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 6, 2019

When a relative cuts off from a family, the absence presents a conscious and unconscious heavy heartedness that is difficult to resolve. Interestingly, when a therapy client reveals that a relationship with a family member has been severed to the point that there is absolutely no communication, there are often many other cutoffs discovered throughout…

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How Do I Address My Concerns About How Much My Partner is Working?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 2, 2019

This question is inspired by an interview with Huffington Post Relationships. In DC, where I practice therapy, the first question people ask one another is “what do you do?” Work is a defining feature and many people are used to working long hours and structuring a family life around consuming professional obligations. Marital tension about…

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True West

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 20, 2019

Most adult clients in therapy express a desire to improve their relationships. A critical facet of developing more meaningful adult bonds involves understanding formative childhood experiences with parents and siblings. It surprises me how often it surprises my therapy clients when we discuss complicated sibling roles and relations, and I voice my belief that all…

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A Star is Born

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 12, 2019

Can spouses gage one another’s mental health? Can therapists and metal health professionals rest assured that a client who appears to be functioning well is safe and stable? Can we take responsibility for the emotional well being of people we love and heal their psychological pain? Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s tremendous remake of the…

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